Heading towards the mid-point of today’s Asian session, major equity indices are nursing losses, shrugging off the better-than-expected US retail sales data. In terms of the Australian Employment Change for February, it firmly beat expectations at 71.5K vs. 10.0K (Prev. 10.4K), which translated into an immediate jump higher in local currency with AUD/USD trading above the 1.0360 level. Meanwhile, the decline in commodities has underpinned the underperformance in the ASX 200, with the Basic Material and Oil & Gas sectors leading the way down.
Over in Japan, ahead of the lower house to vote on the Bank of Japan nominees, the Nikkei 225 has been one of the outperformers with the index recouping from a 2-day slide although JPY is considerably strengthening so far in the FX market as the uncertainty over the Bank of Japan leadership transition has left markets concerned about the path for policy.
Going forward, the outcome of the 20yr JGBs auction will hit the wires at 0345GMT/2145CST as well as the Japanese Industrial Production is scheduled to be released at 0430GMT/2230CST.
As of 0210GMT:
ASX200 (-0.99%), Nikkei 225 (+0.20%), Shanghai Comp. (-0.15%), Hang Seng (-0.82%), KOSPI (-0.82%)
14 Mar 2013 - 03:09 - Energy - Source: RANsquawk
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